Film Forum

209 W. Houston Street,
New York, NY 10014

Unfavorite 41 people favorited this theater

Showing 151 - 175 of 206 comments

hardbop on July 22, 2005 at 7:01 am

Well, after practically living down on East Houston Street to see all those obscure Paramount Pre-Code films (many not even listed in the “Maltin Guide”) the Summer/Fall schedule doesn’t really float my boat. The big retro is a Samurai series, heavy on Kurosawa films. Not my cup of tea.

RobertR on July 13, 2005 at 11:29 am

The Film Forum on a Taiwan site
View link

br91975 on July 8, 2005 at 6:49 am

The Film Forum might have outbid those other theaters (or chains) for ‘Saraband’, may have made an initial deal with Sony Pictures Classics to run an exclusive engagement, only for that portion of the arrangement to have later been dropped, or there might have been some other sort of ‘gentleperson’s agreement’ or original arrangement made for it to have been booked there concurrently with the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas.

hardbop on July 8, 2005 at 6:41 am

I noticed that Ingmar Bergman’s SARABAND, which opened today, is booked at the Lincoln Plaza Cinemas and at the Film Forum. I can’t remember another film that opened at the Film Forum and at a commercial cinema simultaneously. Sometimes films open at FF and then slide into a commercial cinema.

I was under the impression that Film Forum was only supposed to screen films that wouldn’t get a commercial screening elsewhere. I can’t believe that IFC, the Angelika or the Landmark wouldn’t have liked to have that Bergman film considering the junk they have been booking lately.

YMike on July 6, 2005 at 9:42 am

I beleve she came for the 6:30 showing of “Follow Thru” so the seats would have been roped off for that film also.

hardbop on July 6, 2005 at 8:27 am

What was obnoxious about the Film Forum was that they roped off that whole aisle where Ms. Carlisle sat for all the screenings. So, no one could sit in those seats for the afternoon/early evening screenings — premium seats — even though the cinema was packed and no one would use those seats until 8 p.m.

YMike on July 3, 2005 at 4:28 pm

I was at the 8 PM screening of “June Moon” and the show was sold out. I bought my ticket 3 hours in advance and the stand-bye line went half way up the block. By the way in attendance at this show was former actress and “Game Show” legend Kitty Carlisle. She was sitting right behind me and she really looked great for her age.

hardbop on July 3, 2005 at 6:05 am

I’ve been sampling the Paramount Pre-code series and it is drawing real well. The screenings I’ve attended haven’t sold out, but I would estimate the theatre is 85/90% full. Even the rare “June Moon” didn’t sell out. If you are a member the Film Forum’s $5 price tag for a double-feature is one of the best bargains, if not the best bargain, is NYC.

I remember back in ‘93 the Film Forum did a similar series, but focused on the Warner Brothers Studio output. I remember those screenings being packed and possibly selling out. I also think they were screening many triple features, for one admission, at that series. Of course movies from that era fun between 65 and 80 minutes or so.

br91975 on June 5, 2005 at 7:00 pm

File under ‘Huh?’ – today’s ad in the Arts & Leisure section of the NY Times makes mention of this week’s upcoming engagement of ‘East of Eden’… at the Film Forum AT 57 WATTS STREET… never mind that Film Forum moved out of that address in 1989/90 and that the building was torn down shortly thereafter…

PeterKoch on April 1, 2005 at 1:45 pm

No, but they are fun, sometimes.

VincentParisi on April 1, 2005 at 1:36 pm

So everyone go see the Haunting tomorrow night at the Loews Jersey and/or go see the great Jean Arthur tonight at the Film Forum. Not everyone’s got to have a gimmick.

PeterKoch on April 1, 2005 at 12:49 pm

The Gimmick-O-Rama that I remember attending was September 1988, at the 57 Watts Street Film Forum.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 1, 2005 at 12:45 pm

They did have one, in the old Film Forum. I think it was 1987 or 1988. They called it “Gimmick-O-Rama” and they showed all the Castle gimmick movies with the gimmicks re-created (including “Mr. Sardonicus” and the Punishment Poll). There were other gimmick movies included too, like “Wicked, Wicked” in Duo-Vision. This festival went on for several weeks!

At the first night’s screening of “13 Ghosts” (in Illusion-O), William Castle’s wife and daughter were sitting in the row behind me.

YMike on April 1, 2005 at 12:38 pm

Why not have a William Castle film festival. That would cover all these films and one more, “Mr. Sardonicus”.

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 1, 2005 at 12:31 pm

… and “House on Haunted Hill” with the flying plastic skeleton, “Homicidal” with the Fright Break and the Coward’s Corner, etc. They even had to turn people away from a screening of “Queen of Outer Space” starring Zsa Zsa Gabor.

They’re missing a good bet if they don’t program these movies again someday. It’s been quite a few years since they were last shown.

YMike on April 1, 2005 at 10:50 am

Lets not forget “The Tingler”. With the electrafied seats!

Bill Huelbig
Bill Huelbig on April 1, 2005 at 10:04 am

Hardbop, I also wish FF would bring back the annual summer sci-fi and fantasy films, even if it’s just for one summer. They used to draw huge crowds to the old Film Forum – I remember a line going around the block for “The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.”.

hardbop on April 1, 2005 at 9:43 am

I am a regular attendee of the Film Forum and do remember occasionally attending screenings at the Watts Street site in the eighties. Out of curiousity I asked Bruce Goldstein how the long the FF was closed between the time the Watts Street facility closed and the new W. Houston Street site opened. He said they were closed for a about a year. Watts Street closed in ‘89 and W. Houston opened in '90.

I remember those annual “silly” summer fests and remember that the FF took a lot of flak for stopping them. I guess FF felt they had exhausted that fest, but the public didn’t.

chomposaurus on March 22, 2005 at 1:40 am

The programming at Film Forum can’t be beat. It’s the best in the country, rivaled perhaps only by Los Angeles’s American Cinematheque at the Egyptian Theater. The concurrence of new films with retrospective films is absolutely brilliant, keeping this as a first-run venue while declaring the immortal relevance of past cinema.

It’s not the greatest place in the world to watch a movie, though. Far from it. It’s great seeing stuff on 35mm, and Film Forum almost always gets great prints. But the theaters are so small, it’s hardly a cinematic experience, nor is it very intimate. Spaces are narrow and screenings usually sell out, so there’s no leg room — you have to sit with both legs together, feet on the ground — and it’s easy to knock elbows or shoulders with the patron seated next to you. Furthermore, during the winter, the only option for stashing your winter coats is under the seat.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to see pristine prints of “Days of Heaven” and “Bound For Glory” while I lived in NYC, but the cramped atmosphere of Film Forum also cramped the epic grandeur of these films.

Also, the projected image has a foamy-looking texture, for some reason. Perhaps it’s the screens themselves.

Also, films are occasionally out-of-focus and the floor staff and/or management will argue the point and refuse to fix the problem. This happened on a few occasions, notably with ‘The Hidden Fortress,’ which, to date, I have not seen but would have had Film Forum sharply focused it.

Now, the good stuff. Film Forum is one of the only venues to regularly program silent films (at least one retrospective per year will include silent films), and live piano accompaniment is usually provided. Sound is usually good, the best available prints are nearly always obtained, and the lobby is attractive, with some nice food behind the concession counter and some even nicer people.

It’s also quite a bargain, if you’re a member. If I recall correctly, as a member, I’d get two-films on a double-bill for only $5. That means, brilliant prints of ‘Imitation of Life’ and ‘Written on the Wind’ for only five dollars. You’ll pay about the same price at the New Beverly in Los Angeles for ratty old prints, creaky seats and even creakier sound, for the micro-luxury you get at Film Forum.

In summary, this is a New York City staple.

RobertR on December 7, 2004 at 10:05 am

I guess there should be a seperate listing for the old Film Forum?

Camden on July 17, 2004 at 2:51 pm

That Murnau show is going to be really something. I noticed that “The Last Laugh” was photographed by Karl Freund, later director of “The Mummy” and the camera man for “I Love Lucy.” I think his work on that TV series played as large a part in its success as anything else, including the writers and cast; that show shimmers and sparkles and glows. It’s so beautiful to look at, which immediately stops you from channel surfing when you happen across it. I saw a crossover “Make Room For Daddy” at the Museum of Televsion with Lucy and Ricky Ricardo visiting, not lit and photographed by Freund, and all the luminescent magic was missing from the look of the film.


VincentParisi on July 13, 2004 at 2:13 pm

Just want to let you know that FF will be have one of its not to be missed festivals in Sept. thanks to Bruce G and Steve Sterner.

This will be the Murnau(is he the greatest of them all? It’s open to debate but definately he is one of the most worthy contenders. And Sunrise not number one on the AFI list! If there is a greater american film please let me know I which one it is.)

This will rate along with the Lubitsch and Stiller/Sjorstrom festivals as one of their best which says a lot.(I think I was the only one who went to the latter but the films were so haunting and beautiful they will remain with me for the rest of my life.)

Bruce and Steve, I hate to be greedy but do we see a DW Griffith festival in your future?(And just think that until recently the Liberty still stood on 42nd St.)

PeterKoch on July 2, 2004 at 12:36 pm

Thanks, byranb, for the update on the Elgin !

PeterKoch on July 2, 2004 at 12:35 pm

Interesting thought, Camden, to move Film Forum to the RKO Commodore in Williamsburg, Bklyn. So the revival / avant garde movie buffs will follow the yuppies from SoHo and the East Village into the Brooklyn neighborhoods closest to Manhattan.

There are many more closed theaters on Broadway, Brooklyn, southeast of the RKO Commodore ! I would love to discuss them with you !

Camden on July 1, 2004 at 2:50 pm

I love the Film Forum’s programming. By the time I’d seen 99% of their Chaplin festival back in ‘97, I was dreaming that I was Chaplin. They ran out of film to show just in time to save my sanity. The remarks here really focused something I’d never really consciously paid that much attention to, which is that the theatres really are just small screening rooms, unfortunately. They should find a better theatre; with the backing of that foundation and the surfeit of closed theatres in New York City, that shouldn’t be too difficult to do. I’d suggest trying the Commodore Theatre in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Two huge screens with an impressive ceiling downstairs, it’s a truly magnificent theatre recently closed, and I imagine they could buy it for a song. It’s right at the JMZ subway line at Marcy Avenue, the very first stop going out of Manhattan, so it’s quite convenient to the usual clientele. It is a shame for the Film Forum’s superb screenings to be limited to such tiny screens and theatres when the situation could be fairly easily remedied, I think.